How about supplementing electric heat with propane?

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Ky hills

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Our house is a converted 2 story garage/shop. It is a gambrel roof style, and due to space we had the furnace inside part put up in the attic space which is even with the 2nd story, the ductwork is run between the floors, thus coming from the ceiling downstairs. The building was originally built 9 feet on the main floor and 7 upstairs, it seems to stay a lot cooler downstairs and almost hot upstairs. We are currently using an electric heat pump, and have a propane heater on the wall with just a small tank in case the heat goes out. Have been wondering if it would accomplish anything to have a bigger tank and use the propane heater to supplement the electric, and maybe be able to keep it on a lower setting? Have noticed that when we have the propane heater on it is much warmer. It seems like the heat from the ceiling ducts coming from the higher ceilings doesn't keep it very warm, and then factor in it's on a concrete slab with tile and laminated flooring downstairs.
 

Silver

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I'd guess you'd have to pencil it out. What does propane cost in your area? I use a wood pellet heater on the main floor and a wood heater in the basement when it gets cold out. I would bet in your area you could burn walnut shells or something similar quite cheaply.
 

D2Cat

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The propane heat will feel warmer and probably cost less then elec. heat. Not sure what propane cost now, a couple of months ago it was $1.45.

You mention a bigger tank. What is the size of the tank you're using now? If you have a 100 gallon (I think there are) just use it until it's near empty and see how it does.
 

backhoeboogie

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It is always nice to have options. We use a woodstove occasionally if we are home all day. We have some propane to supplement but don't use it since electricity prices have come down. Water heater is electric.

It seems my electricity bill is running about half of what it used to run. Natural gas price drop has a lot to do with it.
 

Caustic Burno

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Ky hills":2o2kzxgk said:
Our house is a converted 2 story garage/shop. It is a gambrel roof style, and due to space we had the furnace inside part put up in the attic space which is even with the 2nd story, the ductwork is run between the floors, thus coming from the ceiling downstairs. The building was originally built 9 feet on the main floor and 7 upstairs, it seems to stay a lot cooler downstairs and almost hot upstairs. We are currently using an electric heat pump, and have a propane heater on the wall with just a small tank in case the heat goes out. Have been wondering if it would accomplish anything to have a bigger tank and use the propane heater to supplement the electric, and maybe be able to keep it on a lower setting? Have noticed that when we have the propane heater on it is much warmer. It seems like the heat from the ceiling ducts coming from the higher ceilings doesn't keep it very warm, and then factor in it's on a concrete slab with tile and laminated flooring downstairs.

That’s the problem with 2 story houses you have to circulate a lot of air.
Winter all the heat wants to go up summer cool go down.
The only really effective way I have seen is zone heating and cooling like my daughters house.
We have split units that works pretty good.
 
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Ky hills

Ky hills

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Caustic Burno":de8pbwss said:
Ky hills":de8pbwss said:
Our house is a converted 2 story garage/shop. It is a gambrel roof style, and due to space we had the furnace inside part put up in the attic space which is even with the 2nd story, the ductwork is run between the floors, thus coming from the ceiling downstairs. The building was originally built 9 feet on the main floor and 7 upstairs, it seems to stay a lot cooler downstairs and almost hot upstairs. We are currently using an electric heat pump, and have a propane heater on the wall with just a small tank in case the heat goes out. Have been wondering if it would accomplish anything to have a bigger tank and use the propane heater to supplement the electric, and maybe be able to keep it on a lower setting? Have noticed that when we have the propane heater on it is much warmer. It seems like the heat from the ceiling ducts coming from the higher ceilings doesn't keep it very warm, and then factor in it's on a concrete slab with tile and laminated flooring downstairs.

That’s the problem with 2 story houses you have to circulate a lot of air.
Winter all the heat wants to go up summer cool go down.
The only really effective way I have seen is zone heating and cooling like my daughters house.
We have split units that works pretty good.

I agree, I prefer one story houses that being one of the main reasons. The other is my knees don't like stairs.
 

Craig Miller

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We've used propane and natural along with electric. Could you close a couple vents up stairs and force more heated air down?
 

greybeard

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My house is 2 story, all open architecture (think cathedral or log house style) except lower floor has a bedroom and bathroom partitioned off. Stays warm in winter upstairs and downstairs and cool thru out the house in summer. All electric Trane. Have two 8' drop ceiling fans in the open area downstairs and two 3' drop fans upstairs.
 

Kjfred

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Either add more heat on the main level with the propane heater or balance the ductwork to try and get more velocity blowing down. Probably need to adjust it back during cooling season though. As greybeard said ceiling fans would help some too. Its hard to make heat go down and cooling go up.
And if the slab never warms up it sure will feel cool
 

Farm Fence Solutions

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When we bought our place, the only heat was a wood stove. A few years in, I ran on a deal on a used electric furnace with central air. Not a heat pump....Real juice eating electric furnace. We would still heat with wood when it got cold, but used the furnace when it was cool, say from 30 degrees and up. The "cool" months, we would rack up some $800 electric bills. (We have the most expensive electricity in the state. Google UDWI REMC for the whole scoop, including the current FBI investigation) Last year, I installed a 30K BTU propane wall heater, and haven't had a bill over $250 since. It heats the whole house just fine, but I did spring for a little 10K BTU unit for the mudroom last month, and we were sure glad to have it the past few weeks. We didn't have a single wood fire last year in the house, and our total propane usage was less than $500.
 

kerley

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If you go with the propane wall heater, be sure to have the propane supplier to check the "Heat Exchanger" in the furnace. If the "Heat Exchanger is cracked it will leak gas fumes which could be fatal.
 
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Ky hills

Ky hills

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Thanks y'all for the suggestions, I appreciate your knowledge and input. I have to admit I feel like a :dunce:
I should have thought to close of the registers upstairs, always do that in the winter but didn't even think about that this time around till I read that in a response post. The ceiling fans are a good idea too. I will probably start using the propane heater more, and see how the cost runs. I can have a bigger tank put in and purchase the propane in the summer. We have the heaters and lines checked out every so often.
 

slick4591

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I don't know what your options are, but we purchased our tank and stayed away from the lease since we are not going to be moving.
 
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